Yayoi Kusama was born in, Japan in 1929. Her artistic career has spanned many mediums including painting, collage, sculpture, performance art and writing novels and poetry. Kusama is best known for her paintings incorporating psychedelic colors and repetitious patterns. Her work is influenced by conceptual art, minimalism, surrealism, pop art, and abstract expressionism.
As a child she suffered from hallucinations and obsessive thoughts. She studied art in Japan Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts, but did not like the formal style that was being taught. In the late 1950s, she began a body of work called Infinity Net Paintings. This series used dots, nets and flowers that took inspiration from her hallucinations. She continued with this theme and covered household items with dots, such as chairs, shoes and ladders.
Yayoi Kusama moved to the United States at the age of 27, first living in Seattle and then New York City. It didn’t take long for her to become a colorful personality in the New York art world and she collaborated with Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenberg, and Robert Morris. By the early 1970s, Yayoi Kusama moved back to Japan and wrote surrealistic novels, short stories, and poetry.
For a time after her move she was largely forgotten in New York, but today is recognized as an important avant-garde artist and has influenced many artists. Over the last decade she has had retrospective exhibitions at both the Tate Modern and the Whitney Museum. In 2008, her work broke the record for the highest paid price at auction for a living female artist and in 2015 Yayoi Kusama was named one of the top 10 living artists.